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The 10 Best Free VPNs in Canada for 2024: Legit & Safe

Updated:

Fact Checked

Canadians looking for ways to improve their online security can consider using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. 

For those on a budget, there are free versions available that will do a fine job of protecting your online privacy. These include ProtonVPN, Windscribe, TunnelBear, Hide.me and Atlas VPN. But choosing the most suitable one can be overwhelming. 

To help you out, check out our ultimate guide to learn more about the best free VPNs in Canada.

Key Takeaways

  • The best free VPNs in Canada include ProtonVPN 2, Windscribe, TunnelBear, Hide.me and Atlas VPN.
  • For the best VPNs with a free trial, ExpressVPN tops the list, followed by Cyberghost and PrivadoVPN.
  • Consider important factors such as customer reviews, features offered, bandwidth and speed limits and privacy policy when choosing the best free VPN service.

Best Free VPNs in Canada

Free VPNFeaturesData Cap
ProtonVPNOffers unlimited bandwidth and data; enables hassle-free browsing through split-tunneling while ensuring optimal speeds; streams Netflix, Crunchyroll, Peacock, and YouTube; free to use foreverDoes not impose data caps or speed limits
WindscribeProvides access to servers in over ten countries; has streaming capabilities that support unlimited connections without capping your speeds10GB per month
TunnelBearAllows access to 5,000 servers in 47 countries; uses WireGuard and GhostBear to allow for speed and security when browsing the internet2GB per month
Hide.meUses StealthGuard to protect your privacy and ensure security; offers live chat support to help resolve issues; does not require signup10GB per month
Atlas VPNAllows access to multiple free servers and three VPN server locations in New York, Los Angeles and the Netherlands5GB per month

Narrow down your choices to these best VPN services in Canada, all of which are considered safe and reliable:

1. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN is the best free VPN in Canada for Chrome and other platforms because it is one of the very few that offer unlimited data, allowing for streaming from different countries. 

The free version does not have Canadian servers but you can use their servers in the US, Netherlands, and Japan to stream from platforms like Netflix, Crunchyroll, Peacock, and YouTube.

The Proton VPN free version does not support torrenting, nor is it suitable for those who need a Canadian IP or want to access Canadian content when out of the country. But even with these drawbacks, the security features make up for it, such as split-tunneling and optimal speeds for hassle-free browsing.

2. Windscribe

Windscribe is another free provider suitable for those new to using VPN, as it’s easy to use and offers access to servers in over ten countries, including Canada. 

Besides the security features offered, Windscribe is best known for its streaming capabilities, as it supports unlimited connections and does not cap your speeds.

That said, it still has a data cap of 10GB a month for its free plan. If you avail of their paid plan of $67 a year, you can get unlimited data, access to servers in over 65 countries, and take advantage of their adblocker feature.

3. TunnelBear

TunnelBear is a popular VPN provider with a free plan allowing access to servers in 47 countries, including Canada.

With 5,000 servers available under their free plan, you can protect your online data and gain access to geo-restricted content easily. They also have GhostBear and WireGuard, which are useful when it comes to your speed and security when browsing the Internet. 

The only major downfall is its limit of 2GB a month, which lessens your freedom to watch videos and stream content.

4. Hide.me

If safe browsing is your priority in a Canada VPN, check out Hide.me, which prioritizes your security and privacy. There is no sign-up required, and you can download the app to use right away.

It’s a suitable option to protect your online activity in Canada, hiding your real IP addresses with unique security features like StealthGuard, as well as live chat support in case issues arise. 

However, Hide.me has one major limitation, and that’s the fact it cannot unblock various streaming platforms. Also, for torrenting, the speeds are slower compared to other VPNs like TunnelBear.

5. Atlas VPN

Atlas VPN is a nice choice for those who want a free VPN for Mac as they offer 2GB data per day for Mac users and fast speeds.

That said, the free version only allows you to access three free servers in New York, Los Angeles, and the Netherlands, with a 5GB monthly bandwidth limit (when using other devices). While suitable for casual streaming and torrenting, it may not be enough for some users.

Because of its minimal features, it’s best recommended for those looking to stream USA-based content, or Netherlanders who live in Canada.

Learn more about Atlas VPN in this review.

6. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield provides fast speeds for a free VPN service in Canada, as it uses Hydra protocol. There are over 3,200 servers available to use all over the US, the UK, and Singapore. The free version does not have any servers in Canada, while the paid plan offers various Canadian servers spread across the country.

Despite the limitation, the free version offers features you can’t find in many unpaid VPN providers, such as unlimited data fast speeds and an auto-protect feature whenever you connect to a WiFi network.

7. Avira Phantom VPN

Avira Phantom VPN is best suited for mobile users who want to stream US content from Canada. Not only do they offer WireGuard protocol for security, but they have over 30 server locations (including a Canadian server), as well as access to US-based platforms without a hitch. 

That said, there is no kill switch feature available, and they offer limited desktop apps.

Best VPNs in Canada with a Free Trial

Getting a paid VPN can be worth it given the advanced security features you’ll receive. Before that, you can avail of their free trial to help you decide what VPN to get. These are our top three VPNs in Canada that offer free trials:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN in Canada is one of the best VPNs that offer a 30-day free trial before choosing to get their paid plan.

You can surf the net securely without worrying about scammers or malware, as your IP addresses, browsing history, traffic destinations, and DNS queries are hidden. 

They also offer various features, including a kill switch, unlimited data allowance, no-logging policies, split tunnelling, and over 3,000 servers. 

After the 30-day free trial, you can get an annual plan for CA$9.11 a month, which includes all the advanced security features, 24/7 live customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

While a bit pricier compared to other VPN services available, you are paying for many helpful features available and the solid reputation ExpressVPN offers for Canadian residents and other users around the world.

Related: NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost

If your goal is to unblock websites and enjoy geo-restricted content no matter where you are in the world, then CyberGhost is a good choice.

This VPN provider had over 7,000 available servers, allowing you to unblock websites so you can enjoy content from Netflix and other streaming platforms effortlessly. 

They also offer a NoSpy server, encrypting data using the latest techniques, so you won’t have to worry about your personal data.

CyberGhost only offers a 1-day free trial but has affordable rates of CA$2.88 a month with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

3. PrivadoVPN

While PrivadoVPN isn’t the most popular VPN provider in Canada, you can take advantage of their great features and fast speeds, which are suitable for smoother browsing and streaming.

You can avail of their free version or 30-day free trial before moving to their paid plans, which cost CA$5.43 a month for two years.

The free version has a limited bandwidth of 10GB and access to 12 global servers, compared to the unlimited bandwidth and access to hundreds of global servers the paid plan offers.

The only major limitation is that there are no Canadian servers. Both versions still offer good security, with a kill switch, IPv6 leak protection, and 256-bit encryption.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network is a service that involves creating a digital connection between your device and a remote server from a VPN provider. This will then create a point-to-point tunnel to hide your IP address, encrypt your personal data, and avoid Internet firewalls or site blocks.

VPNs in Canada also make your browsing history and location untraceable, granting you better anonymity for privacy and security no matter where you are.

With a VPN, you may be able to access blocked and region-locked content, such as Netflix content that can only be accessed from specific countries.

Free VPN vs. Paid VPN

Free and paid VPN services operate the same way, with their only differences being their prices and the number of features available.

Free VPN services are usually run by companies offering limited bandwidth and access to servers but require no payment. There are no monthly or yearly subscription fees involved but these companies earn through the use of ads and by offering a paid version of their service.

On the other hand, paid VPN services offer more features, including advanced security protocols, access to all available servers, and unlimited bandwidth for a certain price, depending on the plan you choose.

Advantages of a Free VPN

Here are some of the common advantages a free VPN in Canada can offer:

1. More Private Browsing History

Your Internet provider, third-party advertisers, and the websites you visit will ask for your data or track your activity, including your browsing history and online searches. Free VPN services can help keep your information from being shared thanks to a hidden IP address and location. 

2. Secure Your Online Identity

Identity theft is a major issue, especially for those who frequently use free or public WiFi networks. When you use a good VPN service in Canada, you can rest assured that nobody will have access to your personal information, whether connected to a public Internet or your private WiFi connection at home.

3. Change Your Online Location

Some free VPNs in Canada will allow you to control where your location is online. This can allow you to evade content blockers when at work, school, or certain countries that restrict websites like Reddit. 

While Canada does not have blocked websites, a free VPN is useful for those travelling to different countries, so your usual online activities won’t be disrupted.

4. No Need to Pay for a VPN

The major reason why people avail of a free VPN is because of its price, or lack thereof. You won’t have to pay for free VPN services but still get similar perks, though it’s important to note that there are feature restrictions.

Downsides of a Free VPN

While a free VPN online can provide similar services as paid VPNs do, there are a few downsides, such as:

1. Some Free VPNs Ask for Information

The main reason why people avail of a virtual private network is to protect their personal information. However, some free VPNs will also try to collect your data, keeping it on file as a consumer. Moreover, sketchy VPN providers may even sell your personal information to third-party advertisers. Researching your chosen free VPN provider in Canada will keep this from happening.

2. They May Contain Malware

Using free VPN services may increase the risk of accidentally downloading malware, as some of them originate from unsecured websites. To prevent this from happening, you should research the VPN service you plan to get, as well as the reviews associated with it (like this guide). 

3. Connection Problems May Occur

Since you are using a free virtual private network service, there may be times that it won’t work. This can result in slower Internet service or disruptions now and then, making it inconvenient for users who expect 24/7 online protection.

4. You Will Deal with Ads

Just like using any free service, free VPNs tend to show advertisements, which can annoy some users. That said, this is a tradeoff for not having to pay for a VPN and will not interfere with your overall browsing experience.

How to Choose the Best Free VPN

It may seem tempting to download the first free VPN for Mac or Windows, but there are factors you must consider to ensure you are getting a reliable one:

Privacy Policy: Read up on the type of data your chosen VPN stores and how they will use it. It’s best to choose free VPNs that have strict no-log policies, or something that comes close to it.

Reviews: Free VPNs may collect and sell your data or even contain malware, defeating the purpose of getting one. As such, read up on what real users have to say about the free VPN you plan on getting. You can find expert opinions and honest reviews on specific VPN providers online.

Features: Choose a reputable VPN that offers the most features for free or those that offer the features you need. It’s also recommended to get a VPN that provides specialized servers and necessary features like a kill switch.

Speed: The faster the VPN provider, the better the experience. While free VPN services won’t have as great speeds compared to paid versions, there are a few that can maintain your actual Internet speed, like Atlas VPN.

Bandwidth limits: Many free VPN providers will have limitations on how much data you can use and your connection speed. Choose a provider that offers the most (or even unlimited) data without any speed caps.

FAQs

Is there a 100% free VPN?

Yes, there are 100% free VPNs in Canada you can avail of, including PrivadoVPN or Proton VPN.

What is the very best free VPN?

Based on our research, the best free VPN is ProtonVPN, which offers a free plan allowing unlimited data, fast speeds, and security features without logs of user activity or advertisements.

Is there a free VPN for a Canada location?

Yes, you can get a free VPN with a Canada server, such as ProtonVPN, Hide.me, TunnelBear, Windscribe, and more.

Can the police track a VPN?

No, police and government agencies who require information about your browsing history cannot track live, encrypted VPN traffic when you use a VPN for free online. They will need to contact your Internet Service Provider and VPN provider.

Related: NordVPN review.

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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